Book Review: Footprints on the Moon by Lorraine Marwood

Published in Australia on the 2nd February, 2021 by University Queensland Press.

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Australian RRP: $16.99

Genre: Middle Grade Historical Fiction.

Page Count: 256

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Sypnosis from UQP Books

Humans are about to leave footprints on the moon, but what sort of mark can one girl make here on earth?

It’s 1969 and life is changing fast. Sharnie Burley is starting high school and finding it tough to make new friends. As the world waits to see if humans will land on the moon, the Vietnam War rages overseas. While her little cousin, Lewis, makes pretend moon boots, young men are being called up to fight, sometimes without having any choice in the matter. Sometimes without ever coming home.

Dad thinks serving your country in a war is honourable, but when Sharnie’s older sister, Cas, meets a returned soldier and starts getting involved in anti-war protests, a rift in their family begins to show. Sharnie would usually turn to her grandma for support, but lately Gran’s been forgetting things.

Can she find her own way in this brave new world?

My Review:

I received a copy of Footprints on the Moon from UQP books in exchange for an honest review, all thoughts are my own.

Footprints on The Moon is honestly such a beautiful book, told so poetically and vividly, filled with hope and innocence as conveyed through the eyes and thoughts of young Sharnie, who not only has to navigate through a new stage of her school life, but also coming to terms that her beloved Grandmother is sadly unwell, a Father who’s away working a lot and an elder sister who she doesn’t feel as close to, as their ages gap a little bit now. The reader can’t help but feel saddened for Sharnie, a pure gem of a young girl, who you just want nice things to happen to!

Yet, there’s not always nice things in the world, as I’m sure we all know. Now, this beautiful gem of a read actually takes place in 1969, where the Vietnam War continues to storm overseas, yet still visibly affecting Australia, with young men being coerced into enlisting to fight for their countries honour, some not even having a say in the matter! Sharnie is visibly (and completely understandable torn up) when she’s caught between being a loyal little sister (when she finds out Cass is seeing a returned soldier and starts getting caught up in anti war protests), and being a dutiful daughter, whos’ father deems it honourable to serve ones country in war!

Lorraine Marwood did just an excellent job of projecting the reader into feeling Sharnie’s emotions throughout and honestly, in my opinion, the fact that this book is presented in verse just makes for even more of an emotive reading experience! The writing just felt so pure and relevant to today, with everything that’s going on in the world, yet, I think, as the title reflects, we’re all leaving our footprints where we step, are we not?

An absolutely stellar middle grade verse novel, completely eloquent and poignant and I absolutely recommend it to everyone, of all ages! A huge thank you to the team at UQP for my review copy.

Happy Reading,


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